Healthy Nurses: Tips for Enhancing Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Well-being
1. Independent Author, Florida, US
*Corresponding Author: Monica Jaramillo DNP, MSN/Ed., RN-NLC, CNE®n, CCRN.
Instructor, mentor, and tutor of various healthcare programs and currently not affiliated with any institution when I submitted this manuscript to the Journal. Florida, US. Email: MonicaJaramilloDNP@Gmail.com
Open Researcher and Contributor ID: https://orcid.org/0009-0005-0572-4061
Introduction: Recent literature suggests a detrimental burden affecting nurses of all settings and backgrounds. Mental and emotional problems such as moral distress, burnout, compassion fatigue, depression, and severe stress are a few of the many issues nurses are experiencing worldwide. Nurses need enhanced guidance and support regarding caring for their health and well-being.
Discussion: It is imperative to advocate for healthier nurses worldwide. Nurses are experiencing several mental issues and burnout due to a lack of resilience and self-care management. All key stakeholders internationally need to aid nurses with feasible tools that promote mindfulness and improvement of self-care while ensuring stability. The key to enhancing nurses’ mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being could be to offer holistic support conducive to mind-body-spirit and physical health.
Keywords: Healthy Nurses; Holistic; Wholistic; Mental; Emotional; Spiritual; Well-being.
Nursing is a caring and compassionate profession full of holistic practices that advocate for the health and well-being of entire communities. Unfortunately, nurses worldwide continue failing in the call to care for themselves in the same empathetic manner as they care for others.[1-3] Nurses nowadays face burnout, fatigue, depression, and severe mental problems such as moral distress and compassion fatigue, to name some of the many stressors, at an exponential rate.[1,2] Healthy nurses are associated with better care outcomes since they represent strong role models for the community and positive health and wellness advocates.[1-3] It is time to advocate more actively for our nurses’ health and well-being while providing support conducive to enhancing their mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. This work aims to inspire change in nursing through practical advice for all stakeholders while empowering nurses to build resilience and positive self-care practices.
Healthy nurses care for their physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health while living life to its maximum capacity. Healthy nursing professionals prioritize their well-being as much as they prioritize those they care for. These nurses represent significant advocacy to all communities as they role-model positive and empathetic self-care practices conducive to healthy and meaningful living. Indeed, the health and well-being of nurses are valuable and essential concepts to cultivate to ensure positive outcomes. The importance of healthy nurses is entitled to the impact of these professionals on their communities.[1-3] Nurses are the caregivers and the image many have to look after. Many individuals from all communities around the globe follow nurses’ advice regarding healthy living, and these individuals see nurses are their exemplars of living meaningful lives.[1,2] It is time for nurses of all practice settings and levels of expertise to take a more active role in their health while using the available resources to live their lives to the fullest. Seek help in your institutions or from national and international associations. Many resources are at hand to support you in all ways that ensure the professional development and advancement of the nursing profession and the health and well-being of all nurses. One example of the multiple national resources available for nurses in the United States is the American Nurses Association (ANA). This organization represents and supports 4.3M nurses nationwide while empowering them to thrive in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The multiple initiatives ANA has established to ensure healthy nurses while ensuring a healthy country are worth exploring. In the end, it all entitles building resilience and incorporating self-care. Nurses’ resilience represents coping with unforeseen or stressful situations and returning to healthy and balanced wellness after a crisis, while self-care promotes mind and body wholeness.[5,6] This composition explores the definition and importance of healthy nurses, tips for building resilience, feasible techniques for wholistic self-care, and recommendations. This commentary includes a discussion and a conflict of interest statement.
Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity. Undoubtedly, all nurses, despite their area of expertise, face some level of difficulty and stress. Nurses must be mindful of the need to adapt to challenging situations successfully.[5,6] This author’s most remarkable experiences with resilience and mindfulness arise from clinical experiences in intensive care and the pressure of completing advanced-practice nursing degrees of education toward the terminal degree in nursing. The chaos of multiple professional and personal demands and the responsibility of caring for patients in a life-death environment is highly challenging. Still, from tough situations like this emerge great realizations. Accordingly, the scientific evidence around the globe is conclusive in suggesting that nurses worldwide need mental and emotional support to mitigate their stress and burnout.[1-3] It is imperative for nurses to improve their resilience and for all key stakeholders to support the health and well-being of nurses with tools that will enhance wholeness.[5,6] Some of the most helpful tips for building resilience in this author’s experience include using all the available resources, starting soon in the career, practicing gratitude, sparking the passion for nursing often, and taking enough time for self-care daily. In this regard, seeking help when first needed while exploring resources such as counseling, mentoring, connections, or community programs is ideal. Similarly, gratitude and purpose or passion for nursing can increase resilience. Lastly, self-care is another valuable component of resilience worth exploring separately.
Self-care is also vital for every person’s health and well-being, not just for nurses. This concept means taking care of self while ensuring both physical and mental, spiritual, and mental health in a comprehensive or wholistic manner. Now, wholistic can mean different things to different people, and the term may be unknown to many others. For this author, this term means ensuring holistic practices that entitle the whole aspects of the person and caring for self comprehensively and holistically while embracing mind-body-spirit. Seeing self-care from this wholistic approach can be the key to improve not only resilience but nurses’ mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
In this author’s experiences, feasible techniques to ensure wholistic self-care in nurses and all individuals despite their culture and background are as follows. First, be true to yourself by following your mind and heart’s desires. Advocating for your well-being first is vital, as hard as this may sound for many nurses considering our call to serve others. Follow your preferences, call to help, and continue that path with your health in mind. Second, perform regular physical activities that are attractive to you personally. This step can be as simple as taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator to have peace of mind that you are incorporating self-care into your daily practices. Third, engage in excellence groups or advocacy associations of your interest as much as possible to promote self-pride. Fourth, be an active advocate for self-care practices in your organization. For this, you may explore the available resources and recommend a practice change policy that promotes more initiatives to ensure the health and well-being of nursing staff. Lastly, do not forget to be kind to yourself and reward yourself often for your achievements.
It is imperative to ensure the health and well-being of nurses around the globe. Healthy nurses are professionals who live their lives to the fullest while inspiring the community to live healthy and meaningful lives. Ensuring nurses’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being requires strong resilience and conscious self-care. These wholistic practices can positively impact all nurses directly while indirectly improving entire communities’ health. It is time to increase advocacy regarding nurses’ health while reminding these professionals to utilize available resources, seek help when needed, practice activities they enjoy, ensure self-care as part of their daily routines, and be kind to themselves. The author hopes to inspire all stakeholders to advocate for healthier nurses and invites further research and studies concerning this vital topic for global public health.
This research received no external funding.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The author declares no conflict of interest
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